Sept. 21, 2005
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - The 2005 class of the Southeast Missouri State University Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted during ceremonies at the Show Me Center on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Four individuals and one team will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the event scheduled to begin with a reception at 2 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony at 2:45 p.m. Tickets are available for the public and can be purchased by calling (573) 651-2227.
The individual inductees include Frank Hawkins (football, 1903-1907), Don Pritchard (football, basketball, tennis, 1931-1934), Ray Rippelmeyer (basketball, 1953-1955), and Ted Banker (football 1979-1982).
The 1960-61 basketball team will also be inducted into the team wing of the Hall of Fame.
Hawkins and Pritchard will be inducted posthumously. Hawkins, described by Ferdinand Courleux, a long-time Southeast coach who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, as "the greatest football player in Southeast history." Hawkins was a strong runner who simply bowled over the defenders.
Courleux wrote later that he remembered a game at the University of Mississippi in 1907 when Captain Hawkins said to give him the ball every time. He did carry every down in one touchdown drive as Southeast beat Ole Miss 12-6.
Pritchard was a great all around athlete who was a four year letterman in football, basketball and tennis. He was first team all-conference in football for three straight years (1932-1934) and was captain of the team in 1934. He was known as a great pass catcher and for his booming punts.
Ray Rippelmeyer played basketball for two years at Southeast while also playing minor league baseball.after being drafted by the Milwaukee Braves. He was named all-conference in basketball both seasons at Southeast while twice leading the Indians in scoring. He set a single game record of 30 points and established new single season scoring records in both his junior and senior seasons.
Rippelmeyer was named honorable mention All-American on Chuck Taylor's NAIA team in 1955 and was drafted by the New York Knicks but was unable to report after being drafted into the US Army on Sept. 25, 1955.
After a two year stint in the Army, Rippelmeyer began a long career in professional baseball. He played on two Pacific Coast League Championship teams and was inducted into the San Diego-Ted Williams Chapter for American Baseball Research Hall of Fame. He was pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies for nine years and is credited with urging Hall of Fame pitcher, Steve Carlton, to throw a "slider" again.
Rippelmeyer has spent over 50 years in baseball and is currently with the New York Mets as a roving minor league pitching coach.
Ted Banker was a four year letterman in football was captain of the 1981 and 1982 teams when he won all-MIAA honors and was selected as the team MVP in 1982.
Banker spent eight seasons in the National Football League (1983-1990) including six years with the New York Jets and two years with the Cleveland Browns. He is the only player in NFL history to play all five offensive line positions during his career.
Banker played in the playoffs in 1985, 1986 and 1989 (AFC Championship game). The AFC Title game was the highlight of his career but also resulted in a major knee injury that ended his playing career.
The four individuals will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame at the Show Me Center that was made possible in part by a generous donation from Dr. John Cashion Bierk. They bring the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 41.
The 1960-61 basketball team won the MIAA championship, the NCAA Southwestern Regional and advanced to the championship game of the NCAA College Division Tournament in Evansville, Ind., finishing second in the nation.
Southeast hosted the Southwestern Regional at a packed Houck Field House, winning over Colorado College, 99-68, before beating Southern Illinois in the finals, 87-84.
Basketball fever was at its highest peak when nearly 2,000 fans accompanied Southeast to the finals in Evansville. A group of students earned national attention when they dribbled a basketball from Cape Girardeau to Evansville and several of those individuals will be on hand when the 1961 team goes into the Hall of Fame.
Southeast beat Chicago University in quarterfinals and whipped South Dakota in the semi-finals to set up the championship game against Wittenberg, coached by legendary coach Ray Mears.
Wittenberg's ball control style prevailed in the national finals, claiming a 42-38 win over Southeast. Despite the loss of the final game, no one was ashamed of the 1961 Indians who compiled a 25-3 record.
Team members at the national championships included Les Hemmer, Bill Giessing, Ron Gray, Carl Ritter, Vivan Reed, Floyd Hodge, Perry Kegley, Bob Reiche, Dawson Pikey, Mike Lorch and Bob Miller. The team was coached by the late Charles Parsley with assistance from the late Joe Uhls.
Ritter, Giessing and Uhls have previously been inducted, as individuals, into the Hall of Fame.
The 1961 basketball team will become the seventh team to be inducted into the team portion of the Hall of Fame. The team portion is made possible in part by a generous donation from Bill Graham.